More bikes to hit Cambridge

Expect a lot more jumping of red lights and veering out of cycle lanes than usual – the Tour de France is coming to Cambridge.

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Exciting news for Cambridge as the route for the 3rd stage of the 2014 Tour de France has been unveiled.

Cambridge, renowned for its mass of bikes will be host to the start of the 3rd stage of the Tour de France. On July 7th, the world’s greatest cyclists will assemble on Gonville Place, next to Parker’s Piece, for the start.

From there they’ll embark on the flat 159km route, which finishes on The Mall outside Buckingham Palace.

But firstly the peloton of some 200 spandex-clad men will have to somehow navigate up Sidney Street, past Sainsbury’s and round the tight left hand bend onto Trinity Street. Hopefully the bollards will not be in operation that Monday.

A potentially sticky situation for the riders

A potentially sticky situation for the riders

If they make it out of the city without hitting any tourists, they will tear their way through the quiet villages just south of Cambridge.

It is especially more exciting for those of you (me included) who like to pretend you’re the Manx Missile himself, Mark Cavendish, when cycling to those 9am lectures.

Cav, as well as the other British greats, will most likely be making an appearance. Team Sky performance manager, Rod Ellingworth, has recently refused to rule out the possibility of Sir Wiggo cycling in support of last year’s Tour winner, Chris Froome.

More importantly this announcement means that Cambridge will, for one day only, have cyclists who actually know how to handle a bike. Here’s hoping that the cyclists of Cambridge will watch closely.

Although the event will undoubtedly be inspiring, as it looks to make more people to take to their bikes, it seems that money is a more exciting prospect.

With an estimated 400,000 people expected to flock to the city and the Government and Yorkshire (where the first two stages are being held) County Council footing the bill, Cambridge seems to be set to enjoy an economic boost.

Once again that post-Olympic-fever sound bite that we’re all sick of appeared – ‘legacy’. Cllr Martin Curtis, of Cambridge City Council, said “Le Tour’s visit is a great opportunity to create a long lasting legacy for cycling, not just in Cambridge but throughout the country.”

Councillor Curtis even styled his hair accordingly

Councillor Curtis even styled his hair accordingly

Mike Smith, Men’s Captain of Cambridge University Cycling Club (CUCC), is excited for the Tour saying “As a cycling club, we’re looking forward to seeing the world’s best cyclists pedal the same roads that we train on every week. Comparing yourself to the pros is always a humbling experience.”

CUCC, however, is definitely creating a cycling legacy of its own. In the BUCS Hill Climb Championships on Saturday (26th), CUCC came away with 2 gold medals. One from women’s team race and one from the women’s individual race. The men’s team race also saw CUCC pick up a bronze medal.

So Cambridge has the victories and the Tour de France, what does the other place have? Smith tells us that “Oxford 1sts were languishing back in 31st place” at the Championships on Saturday. I didn’t really need to put that in this article, but we all need a good laugh every now and again.